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"The European disease": political analysis of the situation in Europe (General Policy of the CE)

Recommendation 821 (1977)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 12 and 13 October 1977 (17th and 18th Sittings) (seeDoc. 4030, report of the Political Affairs Committee). Text adopted by the Assembly on 13 October 1977 (18th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1 Having taken note of the report of its Political Affairs Committee on the "European disease" (Doc. 4030) ;
2 Recalling its Recommendation 803 (1977), on European solidarity ;
3 Concerned at the political instability at national and European level, brought about by :
narrow nationalism and protectionism, frustrating progress of the European idea ;
the influence of the world-wide economic crisis on action by national governments to combat unemployment and inflation ;
the proliferation of direct action which by-passes the democratic political structures ;
the dangerous development of political terrorism ;
4 Concerned at a certain malaise in the European institutions, due to :
discordance in European co-operation, with the institutions being encouraged to compete rather than to act in concert ;
the complex problems inherent in the progressive enlargement of the European Communities ;
the political consequences of direct elections to the European Parliament ;
5 Considering that democratic Europe has important work to do in implementing the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, and in the reform of relations between the Western world, the developing countries and the Middle East ;
6 Being aware that the unity of democratic Europe will remain a fiction until there is closer cohesion and true solidarity between northern and southern Europe, based on a better economic and social balance, and on increased political cooperation,
7 Calls upon the political groups in the European assemblies to make a joint study of how European structures can be adapted to the needs of increased co-operation, in order to achieve closer unity among all the democratic countries of Europe, and genuine co-ordination of the work of the existing institutions by taking into account their special role and functions ;
8 Appeals to member governments and national parliaments to express their political resolve :
a to develop in the European public, by means of concrete political action and a policy of full and impartial information, a genuine European spirit, capable of withstanding a revival of protectionism and nationalism ;
b to promote such European co-operation as will furnish solutions to the problems facing every European country today :
securing complementary distribution of powers and activities among the various European institutions ;
apportioning budgetary resources more fairly and more realistically among the existing European institutions ;
9 Recommends that the Committee of Ministers :
a contribute to a recovery of confidence in European democracy and the functioning of its institutions :
by giving pride of place in the Intergovernmental Work Programme to the safeguarding of democratic principles ;
by asserting the specific responsibilities of the Council of Europe for the protection of human rights in all fields ;
b fully exploit its potential as forum for dialogue between the democratic countries of Europe :
by agreeing to initiate the action necessary to further the development of European integration, and in particular by helping to keep the European institutions from overlapping in their respective activities ;
by strengthening political co-operation between all the democratic countries of Europe, so as to sustain the role of the Council of Europe as bridge between all its member states and the members of the European Communities.